Many cities and their parks and recreation departments offer sports and other activities for kids and adults alike around Dallas County, the State of Iowa and all around the country. The City of Waukee, however, has a several options that are a bit different than the run-of-the-mill activities that most cities and departments offer.


Along with the tradition sports and activities offered, the City of Waukee Parks and Recreation Department offers out-of-town trips, including one overnight, and opportunities for kids with special needs.


All activities through the Waukee Parks and Recreation Department are available to anyone, not just Waukee residents.


The Waukee Parks and Recreation Department will be offering four trips this summer and fall. While the trips are generally geared towards senior citizens, Danae Edwards, Recreation Supervisor for the City of Waukee, says that they are suitable for all families and all are welcome to go on the trips.


“You don’t have to be 55 and older to come,” Edwards said. “It can be whoever wants to join us too.”


The first trip is called “Villages of Van Buren County,” and is on Tuesday, May 23 from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. The cost is $105 per person and the registration deadline is May 9. This trip will take visitors down to Van Buren County to explore different historic areas and even enjoy a homemade lunch from Amish community members.


The second trip is the InboundIowa Mystery trip on June 20-21, the only overnight trip of the season. InboundIowa does trips where people sign up, but don’t know where they are going until they get on the bus to go. The cost is $379 for one person, $314 per person for two people and $299 each for three people.


The third trip is a trip to the Iowa State Fair on Aug. 16 from 8 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. The cost is $20.


The fourth and final trip is called “Explore Winterset,” and takes place on Sept. 19 from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. The cost is $90. Attendees will get a chance to visit covered bridges and more. The trip was planned in partnership with the City of Ankeny and is being advertised in both cities.


“I know there is a need for seniors to stay active and this provides them a way to have a day trip with the girlfriends, or meet new people, or husbands and wives can have a cute day-trip date kind of thing while going to see different parts of the state that maybe they wouldn’t have thought to go before by themselves, or in a small group,” Edwards said. “But this gives them a larger group of people to go with and then they can kind of connect and make new relationships and friendships that way.”


Opportunities specifically for special needs kids is something that the Waukee Parks and Recreation Department only started offering last year, but is expanding it this year.


They will offer Kids in Harmony Adaptive Social Music Group on June 8, June 22, July 13, July 27 and Aug. 10 at the Waukee Pubic Works Building. The cost is $12 per class. This is the first year they will offer any programs from Kids in Harmony.


In this activity, board-certified music therapists let the participants make music by way of instrument play, movement and/or singing and vocalizing in each group. Siblings are also welcome to attend.


“If ‘Johnny’ has autism, but ‘Sally’ doesn’t, ‘Sally’ could still come and participate because it’s a bonding experience for them,” Edwards said.


Courage League Sports will also be offering its adaptive sports and recreation program in Waukee for kids aged 2 and up. The dates are July 8, 15, 22 and 29 and has two sessions each day, one from 10-11 a.m. for kids aged 5-9 and one from 11 a.m. until noon for kids aged 10 and up. It is free for all participants.


This is the second time they will offer programs from Courage League Sports, based out of Johnston.


For more information on these and other offerings or to sign up for activities, visit www.waukee.org/parksandrec.